King Solomon was born in 990 BC in Jerusalem, Israel and died in 931 BC. During his time on earth he was the King of Israel, incredibly wealthy and perhaps the wisest man to ever live. He was the son of King David, Israel’s greatest king. Leaders today do all they can to earn a modicum of respect nearing King Solomon’s accomplishments. Of course, not everyone is destined to be a king or president or hold high office but all leaders do need to lead with distinction and wisdom. I would add grace to this mix as well, because without grace a leader can easily build a reputation for being too harsh.
When the Queen of Sheba came to Jerusalem most historical accounts state she arrived to ask Solomon the most difficult questions to see if his well-known wisdom was well earned. She brought highly valuable gifts that included rare spices, gold and precious stones. At that time it was reported that “Never before came such an abundance of spices.” This was in a period of history where there were very few truly wealthy people and it was atypical that a woman would be a senior leader with so much wealth.
The queen asked her questions and received a steady flow of wisdom and insights, as she had never heard before. Following her exchange with Solomon she pointed out something beyond how wise Solomon was that provides insight into our human interactions. She told Solomon, “How happy your people must be! How happy your officials must be, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!”
What she didn’t point out was Solomon’s incredible palace, land or how many servants under his employ. Rather, she paid him the highest compliment saying how happy those that worked for him must be.
Organizations that do what is expected of them may do good things and help people, but the truly best organizations are those that have leaders who know how to delegate in a calm and steady manner. Isn’t it fascinating the queen didn’t comment on how happy Solomon must be, but rather on how happy his staff must be. Truly, the number one compliment any leader can receive is how happy their staff is under their leadership.